The Orville is finally heading towards season three.
Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi drama, which moved from Fox to Hulu in 2019 for its third season, was hit by the pandemic disrupting production, meaning fans were in for a pretty long wait after the second season premiered in 2018.
However, Jordan Helman, head of scripted originals at Hulu, has provided an update on progress. He said that he’s seen cuts of the show coming in and is hopeful of a premiere sooner rather than later.
“The past year and a half has been complicated on a variety of levels as it pertains to production,” he told Deadline. “I can’t share a launch date, but we’re really excited about what we’ve seen thus far.”
MacFarlane and Jon Cassar are directing episodes of the third season. Filming initially began in October 2019 but was halted in March 2020 with the arrival of Covid-19 with around half of production completed. Production resumed in December 2020 but was suspended again in January 2021 due to a surge. Filming resumed in February.
Helman also teased the possibility of a fourth season of the show, or at least keeping the door open. He said that the “future of the show remains an open conversation and there have been no conversations otherwise”.
“I believe the fans of the show that are coming to us from Fox will be deeply excited and satiated. I also think for new fans that maybe didn’t experience it, it will feel new to them,” he added.
The update comes nearly a year after MacFarlane said that he and the team were working on the show. “We’re working on it very hard, we got hit by this just like everyone else but we’re working on it,” MacFarlane said during an Instagram conversation with The Orville co-star Jessica Szohr.
Created and written by MacFarlane, the hour-long sci-fi adventure series is set 400 years in the future and follows The U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life. MacFarlane plays Capt. Ed Mercer, and directed some episodes.
The Orville is produced by 20th Century Television and Fuzzy Door Productions. MacFarlane executive produces with Brannon Braga, David A. Goodman, Jason Clark and Jon Cassar.